Leadership at the peak – A world of possibilities

By George W Nyabadza

LAST week I spent four days in Zimbabwe catching up with my hero, who is none other than my three-year-old son.



“>I was determined to optimise the time with him through just unstructured fun and games as well as imparting some wisdom to him at an opportunity that presented itself.


Now, if you have a kid who is three years old, you will know that they are very impressionable and everything is all possibility. If there is something being done they want to be a part of it. So the kid wanted a hand in everything – helping his gogo clean up the house, wanting to sit on my lap and drive, using a fork and knife at dinner, there was no stopping him.

Then a funny thing happened; it became chilly one evening and I asked him to put on his warm jacket. As it happened one of the jacket sleeves had become knotted and he couldn’t get his arm in. After frustratingly trying to push it in a few attempts he suddenly exclaimed: “I can’t daddy!”


Now, in the normal course of events, a loving father would simply unravel the sleeve and help his son dress up but not Mr Motivational Speaker. This was my chance to change the destiny of the world by transforming the mindset of one of the world’s upcoming future leaders, I had to seize the opportunity.


I looked him in the eye and said to him with a smile: “Son, don’t say ‘I can’t’, say ‘I can, and keep trying!'”. Now this was a profound moment of teaching one’s son the wisdom of the ages and I thought not only him but his watching grandparents would burst out in ululating and cheering and encouragement for my efforts but no. All I got was a giggle from him and laughter from the other quarters. So I gently repeated myself: “Son, don’t say ‘I can’t’, say ‘I can, and keep trying!'” and much to my surprise the message sunk in for he said: “Daddy, I can, I’m trying” and as soon as I heard this I assisted him to reinforce the message that if you declare that you can and put some effort in you will achieve your goal even if help comes along the way.


For the rest of the weekend I had fun reinforcing the message, every “I can’t daddy” was met with an encouragement to say: “I can”. It was fun. Now the meaning of the words may not have fully registered but my point was to eliminate the foundations of a defeatist consciousness where difficulty is met with resignation. I also endeavoured to associate possibility, effort, success and fun. The foundations we lay in our children have a profound impact in the way they handle life in the future. Whilst it is possible to change one’s consciousness at any stage in life what a joy if one reaches adulthood with a possibility oriented mindset.


To understand the impact of childhood mindsets all one has to do is look at the difficulty most adults are experiencing in adjusting to the changing context of life in Zimbabwe for instance. Talking of your network at large, is the general consciousness a possibility oriented one or a defeatist one? What is the nature of the general talk around you, is there a “can do” energy buzz or is it rather more depressive and critical of the obtaining environment?


Whatever consciousness prevails feeds on itself and grows and becomes the norm. It becomes a paradigm that is accepted and never questioned which only strengthens its binding and cocooning prison bars around the mind. Unless you learn to observe yourself, how you speak to yourself and others, you will accept your subjective experiences as the truth. It will be like you have just been conditioned to operate out of an “I can’t daddy!”

paradigm and yet there is a whole world of possibility out there if you will choose to see and experience life differently.


*For more information on leadership development programmes please visit our website www.achievement-success.com or e-mail George on info@achievement-success.com

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